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Introduction by Peter GayTranslated and edited by Walter Kaufmann Commentary by Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus, and Gilles Deleuze One hundred years after his death, Friedrich Nietzsche remains the most influential philosopher of the modern era. Basic Writings of Nietzsche gathers the complete texts of five of Nietzsche’s most important works, from his first book to his last: The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, The Case of Wagner, and Ecce Homo. Edited and translated by the great Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann, this volume also features seventy-five aphorisms, selections from Nietzsche’s correspondence, and variants from drafts for Ecce Homo. It is a definitive guide to the full range of Nietzsche’s thought. Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
Written in response to a book on the origins of morality by his erstwhile friend Paul Rée, the three essays comprising The Genealogy of Morals — all three advancing the critique of Christian morality set forth in Beyond Good and Evil — are among Nietzsche's most sustained and cohesive work.In the first essay — starting from a linguistic analysis of words such as "good," "bad," and "evil" — Nietzsche sets up a contrast between what he calls "master" morality and "slave" morality and shows how strength and action have often been replaced by passivity and nihilism. The next essay, looking into the origins of guilt and punishment, shows how the concept of justice was born — and how internalization of this concept led to the development of what people called "the soul." In the third essay, Nietzsche dissects the meaning of ascetic ideals.It is not Nietzsche's intention to reject ascetic ideals, "slave" morality, or internalized values out of hand; his main concern is to show that culture and morality, rather than being eternal verities, are human-made. Whether or not you agree with all of his conclusions, his writing is of such clarity and brilliance that you will find reading The Genealogy of Morals nothing short of exhilarating.
In these two devastating works, Nietzsche offers a sustained and often vitriolic attack on the morality and the beliefs of his time, in particular those of Hegel, Kant and Schopenhaur. Twilight of the Idols is a ‘grand declaration of war’ on reason, psychology and theology that combines highly charged personal attacks on his contemporaries with a lightning tour of his own philosophy. It also paves the way for The Anti-Christ, Nietzche’s final assault on institutional Christianity, in which he identifies himself with the ‘Dionysian’ artist and confronts Christ; the only opponent he feels worthy of him.
In his introduction Michael Tanner discussed the themes of Nietzche’s argument and places the works in their historical and philosophical context.